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China: Strawberry price 30% lower than last year

Currently, greenhouse strawberries have become the major off-season fruit in the market. The retail price of local greenhouse strawberries range from 20 to 30 yuan/kg, and the wholesale price is as low as 10 to 18 yuan/kg, which is lower by nearly 30% year-on-year. Compared to the same period of last year, this year's greenhouse strawberries came to the market earlier, and the product quality was better. Although there have been several cold spells since the winter, the strawberries matured earlier due to fewer cloudy days, as well as the sufficient sunlight. Oversupply of the strawberry and its short shelf life caused the wholesale price to drop by 2 to 4 yuan/kg compared to last year. The price may drop further if the temperature gets higher in a few days.

Greehouse strawberry

In the past three years, although the price of greenhouse strawberries has been fluctuating, the retail price remained at more than RMB 20 yuan/kg. Many farmers saw the opportunities and built greenhouse to grow strawberries. Some villages even established strawberry farmer cooperatives. Linyi, which is in Shandong province, has a long history of planting strawberries. Strawberries are planted in all counties of Linyi, and the total area has been about 200,000 mu, which accounts for about one-fifth of the strawberry planting area in Shandong province. Currently, strawberry production value in Linyi has reached RMB 11 billion yuan. A strawberry production area has been built in key counties like Jvnan, Hedong, Tancheng and Yinan.

Linyi's strawberry plantation is large but not strong enough. Most of the strawberries are planted by small growers, and there are few large-scale and branding companies. What's more, the strawberry varieties in Linyi are very limited as Sweet Charlie dominates more than 95% of the varieties planted in Linyi. Although Sweet Charlie is easy to plant and relatively highly disease resistant, the overall quality is not good enough. It is a variety that has been eliminated by some other foreign or domestic production areas with advanced skills and experience. In addition, the marketing and sales channel of Linyi strawberry is limited and it needs to be expanded further.

Source: Qilu Business News

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